Thursday, January 08, 2009
I love this time of year! In our church year, we call January 6th Epiphany, the time when the magi arrived bearing gifts for the Child Jesus. But also, symbolically the time when the wider world (symbolized by those three wise men) came to know about this newborn King.
The Epiphany was an Aha! moment for the world, and even the word epiphany has come to mean an awakening, a sudden knowing. I love it! This is one of the most exciting things about the writing life--those little light bulbs going off when a new awareness comes. Sometimes it's the moment when I suddenly understand my character, and what she's all about, like when I finally got why Ellie feels so connected to her mysterious, long-dead Great-aunt Eleanore, in my newly finished Finding Nonna.
Sometimes it's a great plot twist, something unexpected, that comes in the middle of the night, or when I'm out on a moodling walk, like that Aha! moment I discovered what happened to the cruel Red-bearded soldier in Two Moon Journey, that was going to be mean a life and death decision for Shanote.
Sometimes the Epiphany is wordless, a feeling, something moving inside me, like the moment I had just after midnight New Year's Day, our neighborhood sky dripping bits of glitter from fireworks, and the snow covered trees glowing white in the velvet night. I stood there by the window, feeling an inner joy, an excitement for this year to come.
Kids have this excitement, this willingness to watch, to be surprised. See the watchful look on my granddaughter Cecilia's face? She's ready for the epiphanies of this year.
And this is my New Year's hope and prayer for you. May we stay awake in our deepest being, watching and listening for those epiphanies, great and small. May we see and hear them all.